tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN April 26, 2012 3:00am-4:00am EDT
>> more or less with the blessing. >> an extraordinary and surprising conversation with the nobel peace prize winner. do you think the world is a more peaceful place now than it was when you first became dalai lama? >> oh, yes. >> candid views on world leaders. >> i like president bush. >> which one? >> the younger one. >> really? >> yes. his policies were successful. but as a person, as a human being, very nice person. >> his unexpected views on women. do you ever feel temptation when you see a woman? >> oh, yes, sometimes. i think, this is very nice. >> and a humorous side to the dalai lama you may have never seen before. >> i like your accent. >> thank you. i like your accent. this is "piers morgan tonight."
the dalai lama, tibet's spiritual leader. nobel peace prize winner. it's my honor to welcome his holiness, the dal lay ai lama. how are you? >> fine. >> you've had your annual check just at the mayo clinic. everything good? >> everything good. >> everything healthy? >> last now seven years annually. i got checked, yeah. remain more or less the same. >> that's good. you are probably the most famous person i have ever interviewed. do you like being that famous? >> no, no, no. i describe myself as a simple monk. no more, no less.
i'm one of the 7 billion human beings. basically we are the same. you are british. >> i'm british, yes. >> i'm tibetan. basically, your emotion, my emotion, your mind, my mind, your physical, of course, there are differences in the size of the nose. but basically, same physical. so we are the same. >> do you think that fame is a corrupting force in the modern world? celebrity? >> i think it depends on attitude towards these sort of popularity or good name. if you're too much attached. then sometimes that becomes a
hindrance or obstacle to realize one's own weakness. so sometimes as a people, which is normally a very nice person, where they're nice people at the beginning, truly dedicated people, but then eventually power spoils is. so then sometimes they become arrogant. so more of our practice to go on, you see, if you are becoming -- if you find more and more people respect you, then you must tend to yourself, the truest person. so that's very important. it doesn't matter what other people say. now, first of all, in my own case, some people say god-like. nonsense.
some people say living buddha. nonsense. and also, the other side, some people say me demon. that also nonsense. i'm simply a human being. >> when i was very young, kids of my age, when i was 8 or 9 years old, they wanted to be an astronaut, or, you know, a scientist or something like that. today's children, many of them in all the surveys want to be celebrities. they don't care how they get there. they just want to be celebrities. many people think that is damaging to modern society, that that is the new aspiration for young people. >> what is that word -- >> celebrity. >> celebrity. to be famous. >> yes. >> i think -- and may i say
so -- most case, sports or singers or some dancers, that part, that kind, one category that way, so -- other than that, i think really, and some scientists, analyze, finding some new things, so i prefer just not external. >> you like famous people who are famous because they have done something serious, scientific. >> yes. >> intelligent. rather than perhaps more transitory, evacuous. >> einstein, and some other --
really, if they found some new things which is useful. sometimes there's too much negative emotion. sometimes this new finding is utilized for destructive. that is sad. but the founder of these new things are great, not damaging. >> we're here to discuss the world peace summit that you've been asked to speak at. do you feel the world is a more peaceful place now than it was when you first became dal lay ai lama? >> oh, yes. the fundamental level i think in this world is much better. at least the disappearance of war, and eventually big change
happen. so at least the two blocs, both have their nuclear weapon ready to shoot each other. that kind of danger is now no longer. and the violence is very sad. but compare, with that danger, i think today, i think comparatively, much better. i think, although the world peace is something almost become fashion. peace, peace, peace. even though some people who are really making every preparation for war. but they use the word of peace, peace, peace. >> when you see the arab spring uprisings through the middle east, and you see so many countries having young people
who are better educated, who are no longer prepared to put up with virtual dictatorships, and they rise up, are you supportive of their actions? do you think that is good for the world that they do this? >> yes, in principle, i support, of course. obviously. i was always expressing world belongs to humanity not this leader, that leader, or kings or queens or religious leaders. the world belongs to humanity. and then each country essentially belongs to their own people. so in america, i often express america belongs to americans,
and i think 200 million american people, not the republican party or democratic party. >> do you think sometimes the politicians forget that? >> i don't think generally politicians come from democratic country. i think not that thinking. but sometimes a little bit short sighted. they're mainly looking for the next vote. >> that's true. >> that is a drawback. otherwise, i don't think. so therefore, the best way to govern the country, by the people, is the democratic way. there's no question. no question. therefore, my own case, i, the dalai lama, formally ended
almost four centuries old tibetan tradition, where there was just one head of the temple. that i ended. because, you see, since my childhood, i was impressed with the democratic system. >> so actually, you overthrew yourself. >> oh, yes. voluntarily. proudly. i have one secret. last year, the day i formally handed it over, that night deep sleep. >> really? >> yes. >> all the responsibility is gone. let's take a short break. >> so, so, democratic system is better system. so these movement, very good. i would like to take this opportunity, now basic goal, now
time come, they must be united, all forces. no matter what political thing or something. they must work together. that's very, very important. mainly thinking about the economic condition and education are most important. that i would like to say. i mean, i would like to take this opportunity. >> let's take a short break. when we come back, i want to pick you up on that same point. but i want to ask you about china and about america and about the forthcoming presidential election. stupid sun. [ grunts ] [ gnome ] bonjour americans! enjoying your holiday? ooo no. the hotel lost our reservation, so nonsense! you book at travelocity,
the great super powers of the world. and they may economically in the next 10 or 15 years become the number one super power in the world. what do you think of modern china and how it's changed in the time that you've been dalai lama? >> china, most populated nation. and also long history. i think really, china, chinese, i think they have a really long history of civilization, rich culture. and the richness of their food. however, in modern china, a lot of ups and downs. but i have full faith chinese people, they are hard work ing ing.
so i think the last six years, i think they already tested sort of the difference of experience. i think they, modern china, they got sort of the experience in the revolution. it seems they opened their eyes. so things are changing. somehow life-long communists, so they very much keep the political power. now, that also is now changing. now prime minister quite often, i think he's meeting with cnn, he mentioned china need political reform. so he seems to --
>> are you pleased when you hear that? >> oh, yes. now, as i mentioned earlier, my fundamental belief is china believes to the chinese people, not the communist party. >> is china's power -- >> so things are changing. >> is china's new power good for tibet, or is it dangerous for tibet? because the rest of the world may become so fearful of offending the chinese, that they stop talking about tibet. >> yes, in some ways, yes. but somehow, it's a tibet issue. it's very much just an issue. and also, it involves more issue. so number of chinese now showing that sort of the sense of solidarity with us. and the world.
many parts of the world. and those who know something about tibet, about their current situation. i think very sympathetic. they are concerned. and sometimes they are cautious. >> how did you feel when president obama delayed his meeting with you when he became president? because the chinese objected, and he met with them first. did that offend you? >> no. >> did you understand why he did that? >> actually, he explained to me his reason. it's better. first his meeting, i think without some point with chinese complaining. so better. >> you understood that? >> yes.
and then soon after he returned, he want to see me. >> and he gave you a 17-minute meeting. which is the longest time, i believe, that any american president has ever spent with you in one meeting. what did he say to you, president obama? did he give you assurances that he is going to help you? >> i obviously explain the situation and our thinking. and he show sort of commitment to the tibetan issue. >> does he share your vision, which is for a tibet that has shared power between tibet and china? does he share that vision? >> he has full support of our approach. not separation. for all interests. i explain these things. of course, he already knows. then after our meeting, the
white house formal ly ly, clearly mentioned their support. very, very good. and my previously meeting president bush and clinton, and incidentally, the father, mr. bush, the father, also i met. very nice. very nice. all very nice. >> since the start of 2011, activists say that over 30 tibetans have self-emulated. obviously a very serious escalation in the number of people taking their lives in this way. as the holy leader, what do you say to people who are thinking of doing the same thing? and why aren't more people doing this now? >> of course, it is extremely sad. very sad. but this is not something new.
in china itself, i think during the revolution, on important chinese mon monasteries, they burn. there are cases. they believe in nonviolence, and then the kings are desperate. and they sacrifice their own life. so very sad. so important thing is to express this it's very sad. but we must think, what is the cause of this desperate situation. >> what do you think it is? >> that's obvious. i often tell chinese friend, now time come, chinese government
must think seriously, and then they must follow the guardians of the policies, they must follow the policy as stated. so their policy must be realistic. so then the things -- they once didn't know the reality, and then process of policy according to reality, that is the policy. >> many of the tibetans who are taking their lives are doing so because they want a free tibet. that implies that they want separation from china. but that's not what you want. >> no. >> you don't think that's achievable? you think it's better to have a shared power. so what do you say to these young tibetans who are desperate for a free tibet, who are chasing separation?
do you think it's time that they were told? >> some say yes, there is a law. there is a purpose. so some people say that means independence. but many tibetan, you see, if they really want me back, they really trust me, then automatically they will agree with my view. so they want the dalai lama, but they do not want dalai lama's idea. it is contradiction. >> but that is a big problem, isn't it? >> i don't think -- no, no.
of course, some people, they're right from the beginning. they always say, oh, we want complete independence. but the majority of the people, not only share, but also inside tibet, they say, i had few occasions, they collect their views, even within tibet. so most of the people, particularly the more educated, the more realistic thinking, they all fully support it. >> do you believe the new chinese leadership are getting close to doing some kind of deal with tibet or not? do you believe that they are thinking the right way? >> now, firstly, you see, there is a policy regarding their own people.
now these are indication that more moderate, more realistic thinking, they seem upper hand, gaining an upper hand. but still too early to say. so the communist leaders are thinking more realistically. they very easily can solve also the issue of the people, the autonomy, and also in mongolia, and the rest of china. i think as i was expressing, one point of the chinese people have every right to know the reality. once people know the reality, chinese people also have the ability to judge what is right, what is wrong.
therefore, the censureship is -- >> if the censureship goes, and the reality comes out, there is more chance of a deal? >> certainly. hundred percent. >> let's take a short break. i'm going to come back and talk to you about america. i want you to tell the american people what you think of modern america. and how to keep america great. because you've seen america for six decades, seven decades now. i'm interested in your view.
i'm back here with the dalai lama. talk to me about america. what does america mean to you? >> of course, the biggest country, and i think a country, because of the democracy, the freedom, freedom of thought, freedom of speech, i think a lot of innovation, you see, in this country. and then as a human being, american more straightforward. very easily can talk. not like your holiness. >> no need for that.
polite is the word you're looking for. reserved. >> but one might sort of experience first time visit europe, and then london, england, london. so once the recession, one english gentleman approached me, and expressed to me, he really admire, you often say i don't know. so then i felt english person seals to find it difficult to say i don't know. >> that is true. you would never hear me say that.
but let's get back to modern america. it's really going through big problems at the moment. big economic problems. also examining itself as a country about its values. the american dream and how that has changed. many people out of work now, losing their homes and so on. what do you think of what has happened to america? and how can it get itself back on track again? >> as i mentioned before, i asked the president, and he assured me america, the fundamental condition is sound. so the -- i often, you see, expressing when i give some public talk, in any case, america america, democratic country, not only in the american interest, but interest
for the free world, so i think american lifestyle maybe i think should be more realistic. and think, there are some obstacles. there is no guarantee. that, i think -- and then on a global level, several billion human beings, some are rich, some are poor. big gap between rich and poor. >> do too many americans chase money as a beacon of success, do you think? >> hmm? >> do too many americans see money as a form of success? is it a false dream, having a lot of money? >> not only america, but also in europe. and also now asia money is the top most important value of our life. this is, i think, wrong.
this is wrong. money, material facility can provide only physical comfort. through physical comfort, some sort of satisfaction. it's actually false delusion. so the real peace of mind must come through sort of inner mental, not money. not physical comfort. so that i think modern world, not only america, but modern world, even china and russia, now they talk about money. >> who are the most impressive world leaders you've ever met in your life? who have that element, who understand this? >> i think leaders have to
act -- >> who has impressed you? somebody like nelson mandela? which people that you've ever met? have really impressed you? i think nelson mandela are one of the quiet people. and individual person. i love president bush. >> which one? >> the younger one. >> really? why? >> that's a human being. not as a president of america, sometimes his policy not very successful. but as a person, as a human being, very nice person. i love him. >> how did you feel about president bush went to war so much, if you're a man of peace? >> after he sort of start the international crisis, then my occasion meeting with him, then i expressed to him, i love you,
i'm back with his holiness, the dalai lama. your holiness. i want to get into your life and the kind of lifestyle that you lead. you're a fascinating man in many ways. first of all, you were a vegetarian, but then you got bored with that and went back to meat. is that right? >> of course, my early part of my life, as a tibetan, you see, our diet nonvegetarian. then after i come to india, 65, i give up eating meat and eggs, fish. so next, about 20 minutes, then the dpaul gallbladder, jaundice problem.
so my face become yellow. and nails and eyes become yellow. so later i jokingly tell people, at that time i truly become living buddha. yellow person. so i really making effort to put more vegetarian. but i myself remain vegetarian. >> let's move on to other issues. as a monk, you obviously subscribe to a vow of celibacy. >> yes. >> is that hard? >> no. if you physically experience, sometimes you may find a certain desire.
but then all picture, i often tell, one occasion, some buddhist monk, european buddhist monk, i tell them, watch the people who have family, sometimes i notice -- my first visit, another woman, another woman, another wife, second visit, another woman, another wife. previous wife, some children. then another visitation, third wife. so this is really, the children suffer much when divorce. parent divorce. and i told them, the married people, the emotional state, too much ups and downs. compare that with people's mind more steady.
>> do you ever feel temptation when you see a woman? >> oh, yeah, sometimes, you think, this is very nice. then thinking, thinking too much of a problem. >> really? >> really. even my dream, dreaming some women like that. i mompg nk. i never dreamt in my dream i'm dalai lama. i always remember, i'm buddhist monk. >> do you ever drink alcohol? >> never. >> have you ever smoked a cigarette? >> no. >> ever taken a drug? >> no. >> nothing? >> why? >> i'm just asking. >> no, no, no. i mean, drugs, if your mind is
unrest, then there's no other choice, tranquilizers or drugs or alcohol. my mind, our mind quite peaceful. so no need these things. >> have you always been peaceful? >> and then -- wait, wait, wait. the wine, tibetan wine. when i was very young, i think 7, 8 years, one night, one evening, late evening, i'm just playing. then one person you see carrying two bottles. and i immediately run to him, and then my finger put in the bottle. very sweet. then i ask that person, one bottle, put in my bedroom. >> i'm shocked, your holiness. what happened then? did you drink it? >> after i return to my room,
and where is the bottle. there is one bottle there. i touch just water. >> and you can still remember that bottle? you wish you had drunk it. do you watch television? yes >> yes. >> what programs would you watch? >> usually like discovery, or some sort of documentary thing. very good. >> did you ever watch entertainment programs? >> no. >> you never watched "american idol"? >> no. >> simon cowell? do you know who simon cowell is? >> i don't know. >> that's the right answer. i like that. do you listen to music? >> no. >> not at all? >> no. >> really? >> really. >> no music at all? >> i have no interest. >> really? >> yes.
i'm back again with the dalai lama. you're on twitter. you have four million followers on twitter. that's twice as many as me. i'm not happy about that. you're twice as popular as me. do you ever actually -- do you actually do the tweets? >> no, never. >> somebody does that for you? >> yes. >> they're very good. i have been reading them. >> my finger -- you see quite well equipped. most of the day --
>> yeah. you could have been an engineer. >> this was a computer -- these things, my finger not so good. >> do you ever use the computer? >> no. >> do you ever send an e-mail? >> no. >> have you ever used a cell phone? >> no. occasionally. i might talk with someone, like president bush. >> so if a president calls you'll use the telephone? >> oh, yes. i felt -- you see, when i talk, this should be here. listen should be here. so it's like that. >> they warned me before that if you sit back in your chair like this, it means that you've lost interest in the interview. i'm pleased that you spent most of the interview leaning forward. that means you must have enjoyed it. >> your interview not just because of the -- there's something, some discussion without feeling.
since you are talking with certain feeling then i love you. >> thank you, your holiness. i like your accent. let me ask you, finally, you have had an amazing life and long may it continue. what has been the greatest moment of your life? if i could replay one moment for you, what would it be? >> i think initially immediately after my final examination, it was 1959. >> to become dalai lama? >> no, no, final examination for my degree. >> right, okay. >> and then, then perhaps the 18th morning march '59, that
night i left, i escaped. and in 8:00 in the morning i already reached some distance, now free. and firstly, now no longer, still danger, still there. but then mainly freedom of speech. then when my mother and sister get out -- in the afternoon on the 18th. then including my mother, now freely criticizes the chinese. before that a little bit sort of cautious. >> you were free at last. >> yes. >> free at last.
>> i think at least that i think several -- i think thousand people should get some benefit. many location, through writing or through personal meeting. a number of people expressed to me after hearing your speaking their mind become much more happier. >> well, i can tell you, your holiness, i feel happier than i did one hour ago. and that is down to you. it's been a fascinating hour. thank you very much indeed. i really appreciate it. >> you see, there's something and then religious harmony is concerned. i made some contribution. >> you did. you have. you have. >> when i reflect these things, then i feel a success. >> your holiness, thank you so much. been such a pleasure. thank you very much. >> thank you.
the seven-point guide to self-fulfillment. one, the practice of love can be expressed in one sentence -- do not harm others. two, the true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred. the point of our existence is as human beings we live purposeful, meaningful lives. four, practice patience. it's essential. five, we have the ability and the responsibility to choose whether our actions follow a virtuous path or not. six, with inner strength or mental stability, we can enjoy all kinds of adversity. seven, love, compassion and concern for others are real sources of happiness. i feel better already. that's all for us tonight. "ac 360" starts right now. we begin tonight keeping them honest. where mitt romney stands on illegal immigration. one t